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What is your best local restaurant in NYC...

If it is good enough for your taste buds, it must be good enough for mine. I would like to explore your neigborhoods best joint for a meal. Only your best, please!

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  1. Cantina Toscana, east side of 1st Ave. just south of 61st St., opposite Bed, Bath & Beyond. Excellent Italian, good service, very acoomodating (made a shellfish risotta when nothing like ti was on the menu, at the request of a friend), never rushes you in and out, good wiine selection at prices that do not soak you.

    While some places in the area have bigger names, none beat Cantina Toscana for food, and it is very nice to avoid the crowds at the others.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Captain

      Thanks captain, i will definitely pay a visit and down some shellfish risotta!

    2. My West Village neighborhood has no shortage of great restaurants but I think my most favorite, based on uniqueness, flavor, vibe, and value is Cafe Asean. It is a cozy little southeast Asian space that also has a semi-enclosed back garden. It boasts not-your-average Asian dishes at very reasonable prices. Everyone I've ever brought there has absolutely loved it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: notafoodie

        I have not been in a while, but always liked Cafe Asean. It was one of my sure-fire date spots, and every woman I went with really liked it. However, I only ate outside once, during which time there were unmistakeable sounds of wildlife roaming behind the fence in back. So, you might not want to sit close to it, but I would go.

        1. re: Captain

          I like Sa Woy (Thai) on the Upper East Side.

        2. re: notafoodie

          What's the signature your order most?

        3. Ralph's for cheap Italian on 56th and 9th. Or West Side Chef for Chinese on 58th between 8th and 9th.

          2 Replies
            1. re: foodcritik

              At Ralphs, they have a special often thats parpedelle (sp?) pasta with scallops, white snapper, mussels and clams in a white wine sauce, so amazing! At West Side, I love the sautéed string beans and double sautéed pork. Also, I forgot to mention Nook, which is tiny but so delicious. There I usually have the garden pasta or the steak and mashed potatoes. It's BYOB and has a very quaint feel.

          1. I don't know if you'd consider it a neighborhood restaurant, because it's gotten a lot of press already, but for our neighborhood, the West Village, I'm loving the new Perilla restaurant (Harold Dieterle's place from Top Chef). We've been there twice already and think it's amazing. Fantastic food and a hip yet VERY friendly atmosphere.

            3 Replies
            1. re: BW212

              Seems like a blast, any thing on the menu you regularly get?

              1. re: foodcritik

                It actually is really fun there. Everyone is really nice and the food is awesome. I tried different things for appetizers and mains (love love love the chicken with sausage!) and my husband is into the truffle fiddlehead fern mushroom ravioli.

                I got the coconut cake with Perilla ice cream both times for dessert (I love coconut). He tried different ones. (chocolate cake and donuts).

                Also, no one mentioned, but they have these tiny little spicy oatmeal cookies they bring with the check which may be the best oatmeal cookies I've ever had.

                1. re: BW212

                  thanks i will sure give this one a try

            2. waterfront ale house - great place for good food and good booze

              4 Replies
                1. re: foodcritik

                  They have great game burgers (buffalo, ostrich, varies every day). They also have a great fish sandwich. If I'm feeling healthy I get the grilled chicken with steamed vegetables - its very basic but they do it well! Their pastas look interesting too but I've never gotten them.

                  1. re: noot

                    Their wings and pulled pork are fantastic too. Great selection of beers too, both on tap and in bottles. If you get the pulled pork, make sure you get it with waffle fries. And if you like hot sauce, definitely try the Sam's Famous Hot Sauce. Its my favorite hot sauce.

                    1. re: ESNY

                      whoo i definitely give this a shot

              1. My go-to place for the past 17 years is El Charro Espanol at 4 Charles (Greenwich Ave). Not trendy, just always wonderful food and impeccable service. There are so many regulars that it's like a family.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ChefJune

                  Our go to in the west village is Ditch Plains on Downing. I can always get a seat at the bar and order yummy muscles and delicious salads. The staff is friendly and they never seem to have a shortage of good wine or drinks.

                  Closer to Soho on 6th we like to go to Lupe's, which is Mexican food. Cheap, delicious, never feel too rushed when I'm in there. It kind of feels like your in Texas or somewhere far away when you visit.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    YES! Yours is the first mention of this place I've noticed since my own of over a year and a half ago. My cousins, long time Village residents, took us there on our last visit, and it was wonderful! I remember having a paella (a la Valencia?) that was heavenly! I recall my wife having chicken with chorizo and rice that she raved about for weeks afterwards.

                  2. My Neighborhood Joint would be Lenny and John's Pizzeria on Flatbush, (flatland area)
                    Tuesday night $6.50 a pie. The veal parmesean (hero or with pasta, spagetti is to die for)
                    $8.50 for entree and $5.75 for the hero.

                    It's been there for a long time and sometime it's packed. Pizza is excellent!

                    I can down 3-4 at a time!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: foodcritik

                      Don't forget the rice balls! Those are heaven!

                    2. My coworker just told me his neigbhorhood joint, Daisy May BBQ on 46th and 11th ave in Manhattan rocks.

                      Bring your own beer. place is not big, food is his best bbq ever!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: foodcritik

                        Daisy May's is so good. There is a park on the river about 2 blocks up, that is usually quite empty. We all usually bring our ribs and sides there. Definitely try the ribs and the sweet tea. For sides, the cheddar creamed corn is to die for. Same for the potatoes and gravy.

                      2. I go to Yuka for the all-you-can-eat sushi once a week. Fresh, amazing sushi. Sit at the sushi bar, and don't expect atmosphere. But absolutely delicious!

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Jel212

                          Oooh I totally agree with you! Yuka is great for the price and the quality you are getting.

                          Though I'm in UWS, it's worth the travel. For my neighborhood, Cafe Con Leche for cuban, Charm for Thai, Fred's for comfort food, Bella Luna for italian (though I heard Gennaro is awesome), Calle Ocho for upscale cuban, Big Nick's for a burger and Great Burrito for well....a burrito.

                          1. re: kelea

                            does Yuka offer all you can eat sushi every day or only certain days of the week?

                            kelea, what happened to miss needle?

                            1. re: noot

                              yuka has an all you can eat 7 days a week. 18.95

                            2. re: kelea

                              Where is this Yuka??

                              Kelea--we are UWS too, and are definitely adding Charm to our list. I would say Gennaro is better than Bella Luna (and it cracks me up that they have more on their daily specials list than on their menu). Land Thai is really good.

                              1. re: PetiteSyrah

                                Yuka is at 82nd and 2nd ave. manhattan

                                1. re: PetiteSyrah

                                  We ate at Charm Thai for lunch shortly after it opened. The Pad Thai serving was reasonably priced, huge ,and delicous. Definitely will be returning, and hope that they stay BYOB

                              2. re: Jel212

                                What a small world. I love YUKA, i think i started the trend when my co-worker introduced me the place and I passed the recommendation to all my friends and since then, they all loved it. Everyone has now experience a JAPANESE greetings from the sushi chefs coming in and going out of YUKA. I still like KINOKOS which is located on the west side of the city 72nd and columbus ave....thanks for the posting!

                              3. Hmmm...A is right on my corner, so that's always good. I love the duck confit, and the camerbert pear. Also, I am obsessed with this new place called Thai Market on Amsterdam btwn 107 and 108. The duck with plum sauce and Pad See Ew are amazing! Zanny's on 108 and Columbus has this amazing sandwich called the Chicken Zanny.

                                From my EV days...Pizza Gruppo, Muzzarella Pizza, and the original Max's on Avenue B.

                                1. Foodcritik-

                                  This is a great thread! Thanks for starting it.

                                  Where are Yuka and waterfront ale house (is that the one with the game burgers?)?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: BW212

                                    Waterfront, I believe, is 30th and 2nd - southwest corner. The venison chili is pretty good.

                                    1. re: BW212

                                      yuka is at 82nd and 2nd ave , all you can eat for 18.95

                                      1. re: BW212

                                        There are two. One on 2nd Ave in 30's, another on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, near the waterfront, of all things.

                                      2. My local go-to especially when I have guests is Cafe Joul on 1st Avenue bet. 58th and 59th. Sweet little brasserie where one of the signature dishes is seafood cassoulet. They made it once as a summer dish and the patrons asked that it be kept on all year. Great burgers, steak frites, love the endive salad, and always look forward to the specials. They've just started opening for lunch too. Menu is available on menupages.

                                        3 Replies
                                            1. re: foodcritik

                                              I get out of Cafe Joul for just under $50 including 2 courses and a drink and the tip.

                                          1. boulez upstairs,,in tribeca,,, across the street from the "real" boulez. no reservations, small place, they cook in front of you ,,its crowded,They cook in front of you ,and they have a small great sushi bar as well. I recommend the scallops or the halibut. And from the japanese part i recommend anything kaiseki. An added perk, you may sit a foot away from a movie star.

                                            1. Ottomanelli's - 86th and York. Tiny hole in the wall, excellent burgers with waffle-cut fries. I always go for the Western burger, a few times a month.

                                              1. Although it's not my neighborhood, I highly recommend you check out Washington Heights. Stroll up Broadway, take in the sights, sounds and aromas, get a spanish coffee just about anywhere. Then sample the chicharron de pollo at El Mundo Fried Chicken at 4456 Bway, for some of the crispiest, richest and most moist birds you'll have in the city. As are the best, most fascinating hoods in NYC, this one is its' own world, with much to offer.

                                                1. not in my 'hood (I WISH!) but i love these:

                                                  - Kefi on UWS - great food and wine (some good Greek finds) - great meat balls and octopus. very reasonable (cash only)

                                                  - East Village - Mermaid Inn

                                                  - West Village - lots of great places - Gusto, Little Owl, Wallse (can be uneven but when it's on, great)

                                                  - Tribeca - Cercle Rouge, Blaue Gans, Upstairs at Bouley

                                                  1. I've lived in a few neighborhoods:
                                                    Gramercy: Giorgio's of Gramercy...spagetti with lobster...amazing
                                                    West Village: Mary's Fish Camp...lobster roll...can't have enough
                                                    Upper East Side: Spigalo...any fish and meats...amazing
                                                    Midtown East: Jubilee...steak frites...best I've ever had

                                                    Foodcritik - thanks for starting this!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: gramercyfoodie

                                                      Gramercyfoodie, these are great for my Manhattan food tour!

                                                    2. Ennio and Michael's in the west village is an undiscovered gem for Italian food.